Depression Quest

by Zoe Quinn, Patrick Lindsey, and Isaac Schankler


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Number of Reviews: 7
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A Twine that does it right, January 10, 2014
by Chad Comeau (Canada)

Although I felt kind of down after playing (which means the game was effective, I guess!), I really liked how the choices show you what that person was considering in each situation. The game is well-written and detailed. It's a little long, but juuuust as I was wondering when it would end, it ended.

They avoided mentioning protagonist's gender, but not the partner's, which was a little weird. But that's not really a big issue. I'm nitpicking.

I had written an article about mental health in games, and Depression Quest is the perfect example of doing it right: using video games' interactivity and representational power to help people better understand mental health! I hope we'll start to see more games like DQ. (

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Andrew Schultz, January 10, 2014 - Reply
One of the jibes I had about the game was "it makes it too easy to choose the right choice if you know what you're doing, and that goes against what they're trying to say, which is that people know the right thing to do and don't/can't do it."

But really, I think the game deals with that effectively by (Spoiler - click to show)crossing out actions you know you should be doing, and you sort of have to reverse engineer to get yourself in a position where you can help your game outcome.

Which is much like how people can and should deal with depression (I think) -- put themself in the right position and don't worry if it's too modern or ancient or trendy or un-trendy.
Chad Comeau, January 12, 2014 - Reply
Good point about the right choices being too easy to make. I was wondering how to do that in my own game too: how do you re-create the struggle for motivation in a game? A dice roll seems too random, but just laying out the choices for the player (and barring some of them off) doesnt really factor in the self motivation.
Danielle, January 10, 2014 - Reply
I sent this along to a (non-gamer) friend of mine who suffered from depression back in college, and she found it so fitting to her experience that she sent it to her mother and sister to help them understand what she was going through.

She said one part in particular that rang true was the choice to "Watch TV for one hour." She said she knew exactly what was going to happen when she clicked it, because she'd lived it.

Games like this are so important for the way they can generate understanding between people.
Chad Comeau, January 10, 2014 - Reply
I agree! Most games portray mental illness in a negative, exagerated, and unrealistic way. It's awesome to see a few games get it right and offer accurate representations instead of negative ones.
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